Sentinel Fan Fiction Page || Fanfic -- Missing Scenes Collection

Summary: Epilogue. Spoilers for Mirror Image.

Robyn asked for a "snuggle" story. This one just took longer to write since I'm running out of valid reasons to do a snuggle. Yeah, yeah, I know, it's smarm. Who needs a valid reason? In any case, since I couldn't think of anything, I delved into the episodes and pulled something from there.

Spectre
by Becky
December 1999

Blair waited until he stopped hearing the bed creak above him to move, like he had been for the past several nights. The first night after the case had been wrapped up, he hadn't been able to leave his room since Jim had taken over the couch due the destruction of the mattresses upstairs from the gunfire. Which meant Blair spent most of the night sitting against the wall, covers pulled around him, wide awake, trying to convince himself not to be such a wuss.

Fortunately Jim had replaced the mattresses the next day.

And Blair could leave his tiny, closed room and crash in the bigger main room where he didn't have to worry about any locked doors or people sneaking up on him from side doors. He also had a full view of the balcony and could crane his head to see the front door or his bedroom door depending which way he turned.

Of course, the most important reason was that he could hear the sleeping man in the upstairs bedroom.

So on the fourth night after Warren Chapel had been recaptured and sent far, far away, Blair gathered his favorite pillow and his warmest blanket and tiptoed into main room, wincing as a floorboard creaked under his foot. Upstairs, he heard Jim shift a little, but he didn't wake up. Finishing his trek across the traitorous floor, Blair settled onto the couch and swiftly created a warm nest for the night. His watch alarm was set to go off an hour before Jim would get up which gave him plenty of time to erase his presence from the room, therefore making sure he didn't have to explain.

Blair settled under the blanket and the red afghan from the back of the couch and sighed peacefully. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, letting it out slowly. Another. And another. And another. And--

"Sandburg, what are you doing?"

"Aaah!" Blair jerked upright, clutching the blankets to his chest with one hand and hefting his pillow as a weapon in the other.

"Chief! It's me. Calm down." Jim padded across the floor to stand in front of the couch, moonlight silhouetting his robed form.

He lowered the pillow into his lap and unconsciously held it to his chest. "J-jim. Uh, hi. What're you doing up? Are you having a hard time sleeping? I have some tea that--"

Jim held up both hands to stop the torrent of rambling words. "Whoa, whoa, easy, Blair. Breathe." He sat down on the edge of the coffee table cautiously and laid a hand on Blair's nearest knee. "Tell me what's wrong."

"Wrong?" Blair squeaked out, then cleared his throat as he straightened. "Wrong? Nothing's wrong. I just felt like, uh, well..."

"Like sleeping on the couch for the third night in a row instead of your much more comfortable bed?"

"I--" Blair looked away and sighed. He started pulling the blanket into his lap. "I didn't realize you heard me. I'll just--"

Jim interrupted. "Is this about Chapel?"

Blair froze. "It's--I--"

"Because if it is, I want to know why you won't talk to me."

"Because it's so stupid to feel this way!" The words burst out as Blair released the blanket and waved a hand into the darkness. "I mean, he's gone. Carted off to a funny farm totally out of the state of Washington. During the day, I almost forget he even exists. But at night..." He paused and swallowed hard. "At night, when I close my eyes, all I can see is his face and his eyes." Blair thumped his closed fist against his forehead. "I can't sleep without him haunting me. Not in my room at least."

"And you can out here?" Jim gestured towards the couch. Blair nodded silently. Jim cocked his head, asking, "Why?"

Blair stared at Jim's face, lit on one side from the light streaming through the balcony windows. He answered quietly and honestly. "Because I feel...safer. I can hear you up there. I know you're here."

Jim just stared back at him, an odd look in his eyes. Blair held those eyes as long as possible, reddening under the intense gaze. Finally he looked away. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean--"

"You can't sleep on the couch forever you know."

Blair nodded as he focused his gaze on the blanket under his hands. "I know. I'll be okay in a day or so. It's just that he's not one of the easier ones to forget."

"No. I don't suppose he is." Jim's voice had gentled and Blair chanced a quick look upwards and saw the soft worry on the detective's face. Their eyes met and Jim smiled at him, then squeezed Blair's knee before patting it. "So, since you're not planning to move out here permanently, is there room for one more?" He rose to his feet and all but shifted Blair over to sit next to him on the couch.

The younger man blinked at him. "Huh? Jim? What are you doing?"

Jim chuckled. "I seem to remember starting this conversation that way. I'm helping a friend conquer one rather unsightly demon." He looked down at Blair's uplifted face. "Is that okay with you?"

A small but radiant smile appeared. "Yeah. That's okay with me."

Lifting an arm to rest around Blair's shoulders, Jim tucked him in closer and reached with the other hand for the two bunched-up blankets. "Good. Now, let's get to sharing the warmth here, buddy. You're hogging all the covers."

Blair laughed and helped Jim spread the blankets over their two sitting forms. Then he rested his head in the hollow of Jim's shoulder, turning slightly inward to find the best spot to sleep in. Closing his eyes, he whispered, "Night, Jim."

Jim's arm tightened around his shoulders and his other hand rested briefly on his cheek. "Night, Chief."

Sentinel and guide slept quietly in the company of one another and the spectre of Warren Chapel vanished for good.

- The End -